Children were mistakenly rejected from public prekindergarten programs

I’ve been remiss in not posting on this before. As you may have heard by now, the Department of Education’s new pre-kindergarten enrollment system has some major flaws. As a result, kids are being assigned to schools that they should not be, and are being rejected from schools that, under the DOE’s own rules, they should be attending.

Call it the Halliburton effect. Rather than centralize the admissions process within the DOE, the City outsourced the work of assigning students to a private company in Pennsylvania. Of course people keying in data in Pennsylvania know nothing about NYC. For its part, DOE is saying the problem is limited to a couple hundred kids who weren’t assigned to the same school their siblings already attend, and blaming the problem on a bad “algorithm” that screens for siblings.

How’s this for an algorithm:

If sibling attends elementary school
Then assign child to same elementary school
End If

Sounds like a first semester programming exercise.